Cardinals’ Wainwright gives up 19 runs in return to live action

Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright pitches to a member of his daughter's softball team, the Dirt Diamonds.

Photo Courtesy: Abby Goldberg

ST. LOUIS

When Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright suffered a complete Achilles tear in his left ankle while batting against Milwaukee in April, it was feared that he would be out for the season, though Waino himself proclaimed he intended to prove otherwise.

He did just that Monday night, and the results were not pretty. Waino’s ankle survived, but his ERA did not.

And it was a bunch of 8-year-old girls knocking him around.

The scene was an 8-and-under softball game at Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex. A pitching machine malfunctioned and it became coach-pitch time — except for the Dirt Diamonds, who had a famous parent in the stands with a compression sock on his left foot that signified he is nowhere near ready to pitch on a major league mound.

Wainwright pitched all six innings to the hitters for the Dirt Diamonds, who won 19-4 or 19-5 — Lazerwitz isn’t quite sure how many runs the opposing Fireballs scored off their coach. But was it a complete-game victory for Waino? Depends on how you look at it.

"He gave up 19 runs, so his ERA was not very good," Lazerwitz said. "It’s the only time that his own team’s rooting against him."

The umpire, who had seen Wainwright at softball games many times before but had never called a game the pitcher attended, said the player you see on TV keeping things loose in the Cardinals’ dugout was the same guy chatting with parents in the bleachers and talking to girls in the dugout Monday night.

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"He was joking around," Lazerwitz said. "Not that I’ve ever met the man before, but you always hear the stories, you see him clowning around in the dugout, and that’s basically what it was the whole time."

Of course, Waino’s six-inning stint allows him to boast that he has proved the medical experts wrong.

"He turned to me in the middle of the game," Lazerwitz said, "and actually did say, ‘I told everyone I’d pitch again this year.’"

You can follow Mike Nahrstedt on Twitter at @MikeNahrstedt or email him at mike.nahrstedt@foxsports.net.

Adam Wainwright’s return to the mound went well for his daughter’s team, if not his pitching line.